About Bridge UM
The highly diverse and rapidly growing Houston metropolitan area is home to 1.6 million immigrants.
Who WE Are
There is incredible diversity within immigrants in Houston. This diverse population includes many, but unaccompanied minors (UMs) are likely the most vulnerable immigrants in the United States (Antony & Thomas, 2017). UMs are defined as children younger than 18 years of age without lawful immigration status and have no parent or legal guardian available to offer care (Byrne & Miller, 2012). In recent years, large numbers of UMs began arriving to the United States from Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras seeking safety from alarmingly increased rates of gang, community and domestic violence. Yet, there are very few resources and research studies that address the health needs of UMs, particularly their psychological and emotional supports (Carlson et al., 2012). Texas Children’s Mobile Clinic Program in conjunction with Texas Children’s Trauma and Grief Center, Yes to Youth in Montgomery County, affiliated universities and local nonprofits propose a solution named BRIDGE UM! to address the wicked problem of inadequate access, provision and use of mental health services for vulnerable immigrant children including UMs in the Houston community.